Happy Wednesday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! This is Pop Culture Wednesday, the place where any and everything Pop Culture is talked about, analyzed, and, dare I say, obsessed over. Considering that I am a massive fan of the franchise and that I have at least five friends who would kick my ass if I didn’t write about this, today’s post is going to be all about the brand new Star Wars: The Force Awakens film. WARNING: this review is going to contain spoilers to the plot of the movie and my opinions of them. If you have yet to see the film and wish to stay pure and untainted, do not go past the image of the Star Wars spoiler.
Alright, awesome. If you are reading this you have seen the movie and are ready to read some thoughts about it. Either that or you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens and you are okay with me spoiling it for you. If that’s the case I think I may hate you a little bit, but still appreciate your contribution to the view counter.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is exactly what it needed to be. It is a good movie that captures the magic and wonderment of the original trilogy, while simultaneously assuring audiences that the next few films are going to be decidedly different from any of the prequels. While this project was very clearly a group effort and the reason that it is so good is because everyone involved gave it their all, I believe that the quality of this film is mostly due to writer/director/produce J.J. Abrams. Abrams is very clearly a fan of the Star Wars franchise and it showed in this movie. In a lot of ways this film felt like a love letter to generations of Star Wars fans and gave them expansion to the universe that we have always wanted. While I was initially worried about the usually average and decidedly safe Abrams directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I’m glad they went with him.
The plot and narrative of this film was both spectacular and familiar. It would have been totally appropriate to put “Inspired by A New Hope” in the opening crawl, as The Force Awakens hit nearly all of the same beats as the original Star Wars film. A relatable protagonist is discovered in a desert, a lovable droid has important information, there’s a dude running around in all black, and the heroes blow up a giant machine capable of blowing up a planet. While I would criticize this film for being unorigional, I will not because Star Wars: The Force Awakens did not need to be original. We got originality back in the prequels and nobody has any of those movies in their Star Wars Top 3. Well some people do, but they’re weird.
Alright, now that I’ve put up a couple paragraphs regarding why I liked this film and how it is exactly what it needed to be, it’s time to get to some of the stuff I did not like. Without getting into any of the controversy surrounding Rey as a strong female main character, I personally felt that it was a little weird that she had such a mastery of the force from the get go. She Jedi mind tricked a Stormtrooper without ever being thought how to do that or even what that was. Granted that scene was hilarious, but it still seemed strange to me and took me out of the movie for a second. Also, her character is just a conglomeration of the best aspects of the main characters from the original trilogy. She’s an empowered, role model of a women, she can use the force and is more or less chosen to save the day, and she gets to fly around space with Chewy! I really like Rey, but I also really want more of her and to get a better sense of who she is.
Another issue I had with this film is that the character of Poe (who in my mind will be referred to Popo ‘cus DBZ) was not as involved as he should have been. He, Rey, and Finn really seemed like they were going to be the new three man characters of this trilogy, and he was maybe in a total of twenty minutes of the movie. I love his character and really want to see more of it in the rest of the trilogy.
My biggest issue with this film is the handling of Finn’s story arc. Finn is just a regular guy. He doesn’t appear to be force sensitive (although that scene with Ren starying at him made me think otherwise for a bit), he isn’t particularly skilled at any of the cool things and activities in the Star Wars universe, and, up until he went on his first combat mission, he worked for the first order against his will as a janitor. When he decided to rebel against the Order because they were slaughtering innocent people, it very much seemed like this story was going to be about an average guy trying to do the right thing in an extraordinary universe. This very much felt like his story for about three fourths of the movie. Culminating in his fight with Kylo Ren. I desperately wanted him to be able to defeat Ren or at least tie with him, because that would make the story about an ordinary person, who is just trying to do good, standing up to and defeating what are essentially gods. Rather than tell that story though, the movie decided to scrap that in the fourth act and let the special people, Rey and Ren, duke it out.
While I do have a few other minor issues with The Force Awakens, these were the main ones. Again, I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed and appreciated this movie. The only reason I bring up these negative points is because the sheer quality of the movie otherwise only made these flaws more apparent. This was the first good Star Wars movie to come out in over two decades, and I will eternally love this movie simply because of this. Yes, there are issues and yes, the entire film felt like a kind of set up for the next two and the spinoffs, but this film is indisputably and unquestionably a win for Star Wars Fans everywhere.
- Harrison Ford nailed it as Han Solo. In the last Indiana Jones it seemed like he was half-assing it, but he truly went above and beyond in reprising his role.
- I went into this movie knowing that Han was probably going to die, and I still nearly cried when it happened.
- That said, Chewbacca just shooting Ren right after it happened may have been my favorite moment in the whole movie.
- How does Maz have Luke’s lightsaber!!? That thing should be hundreds of miles below Cloud city! Does she have his hand too?
- The scene where Rey met Luke was beautiful and goddamn near perfect, but seriousaly? Mark Hamill can’t get one damn line in the movie!
- Damn Mark Hamill, you got in shape! ‘Props to you.
- My favorite shot of the movie is probably when Ren and Rey cross light sabers and the t-shape is reflected in Rey’s eye.
- I’m not sure how I feel about Supreme leader Snok, but I feel bad that Andy Circus is never allowed to just be himself.
- We get it. The First Order is basically space Nazis. Little on the nose with that one.
- Finally if you are not currently following the Emo Kylo Ren account, do it! You will not be disappointed.
I have way more thoughts and opinions on this movie than what I could possibly fit here, so please leave a comment or question below and I would be happy to respond to it. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great day.